Intentions of the Holy Father for April

Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.

Open Letter of the CMA on Health Care Reform

You know that I try to avoid, though sometimes give myself into the purely political. The difficulty is that so much that is political is also moral, these days. I mean, face it, we are rarely arguing about where to put a highway or whether to enter a trade treaty on fishing with the Danish. Wouldn't it be nice if those were our major political concerns?

Now a number of our Catholic organizations have given us precious little guidance about health care reform. After simply noting that health care is a "right" (whatever that means) they say something to the extent that any reform is better than no reform, leaving the implication that we should support whatever the President proposes. These premises are all questionable.

The first is questionable if only because the idea of a "right" is now so vague in our society as to be almost meaningless. It is certainly becoming confused with "entitlement". Reading the Bill of Rights, one will note that all the rights enumerated can be rephrases as something like, "The government will stay the heck out of..." my house, my saying what I please, associating with whomever I please, owning the weapons that people me, etc., etc. Nowadays, though, many "rights" do not seem to be expressible in such formulas. Nowadays, they have to be reworded something more like, "The government will give me..." which is to say, "Everyone else will give me..." That shift strikes me as dangerous.

The second is questionable simply because change can always be change for the worse.

The last is questionable simply because our president has proposed in the past some questionable propositions.

The Catholic Medical Association, though, has put together an open letter explaining the parameters of discussion as they see it: health care reform in general, a Catholic's perspective on it, and how we should engage the broader society with our ideas. Click the picture, or here, to read it. Would that more of our Catholic organizations were helping us to question critically what is being presented to us for a rubber-stamping.

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